Melissa Kwee is CEO of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), a non-profit organisation which promotes volunteering and philanthropy in Singapore.
Her career has spanned the public, private and community sectors as civic entrepreneur, social innovator, anthropologist, researcher and educational programme designer. Melissa’s focus and commitment is to serve marginalised members of society and create innovative, win-win opportunities to engage, empower them as valued and contributing members of our community. As CEO of NVPC, Melissa’s dream is for many more to embrace the vision of giving, and to create a society of citizens empowered to make a difference.
With over fifteen years of leadership experience working with educational and community development initiatives in the public and private sector, Melissa has developed leadership programmes for girls, mentoring initiatives for teens at risk, and inter-generational reading programmes for disadvantaged communities.
She founded Beautiful People, a volunteer run mentoring programme to help teenaged girls at risk reintegrate into community, where she continues to volunteer her skills in leadership, programme design and facilitation. Today, Beautiful People is a strong volunteer leadership-based organisation that has expanded its services to help more groups, such as young mothers to make the critical life transition with support, inmates from the women’s prison to reintegrate into society and boys at risk through its mentoring model.
Melissa has served on many public service and community boards to advance the mission of causes she believes in. She has chaired the Halogen Foundation, a youth leadership organisation and UN Women Singapore (formerly known as Unifem Singapore) where she tackled trafficking issues and initiated various community campaigns to engage and empower youth as advocates. She has served on the boards of the Singapore National Arts Council, the Singapore Repertory Theatre, Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education Board of Governors, Prison Fellowship International; Prison Fellowship Singapore; and is currently on the boards of Crest Secondary, a specialised school for technical education in Singapore; 70x7, an initiative by the Prison Fellowship Singapore, Pontiac Land Group and Honestbee.
Melissa was recognised with the Singapore Youth Award 2007, ASEAN Youth Award 2008, amongst others, for her leadership and service.
She was educated at Harvard College where she received a degree in Social Anthropology magna cum laude and was a Fulbright Scholar to Nepal.